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Life Lessons: Networking the right way

How do you make the most of it?

Whether you’re looking for a new job, starting your own business or trying to sell a new product you’ve probably heard networking is the way to go.

But how do you make the most of it instead of writing it off as a waste of time?

When Dara Levy set out to create and sell her own skincare system, she knew the journey toward being her own boss would not be an easy one.

“Everyday something did go wrong because it was a new concept and I was sort of inventing it,” Levy explained.

But the one thing that went right was the networking.

“It was all networking," Levy said. "It’s talking to somebody who knows somebody who says, 'Oh my god, I want to introduce you to this person.'"

When it comes to networking, never dismiss someone as unimportant because they could still have valuable connections, Levy said. She also advises people to not just network with those in the industry.

“It’s asking real people what do you think of this idea? Is this something you would use?,” Levy said.

Above all, don’t get easily discouraged. It can take time to establish the right connections. The connections Levy made got her Dermaflash system into Sephora, Niemen Marcus and eventually the QVC network.

"We sold 1,800 units in 12 minutes the first time we were on," Levy said.

But networking isn’t for everyone and it isn’t always necessary. That’s according to an interview of Rhodes Scholars who rather than depend on making social connections tended to focus solely on doing their job extremely well, and that’s what attracted more job opportunities for them.

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